At the start in Dax, the riders were taking it easy. They knew challenging mountains were coming up, and the stage would likely end in a sprint. So, the pace was slower than usual. The only notable moment in the first 175 kilometers was when Anthony Delaplace and Benoît Cosnefroy briefly broke away from the pack, trying to make things more interesting.
It was in the final seven kilometers that the race came to life. The Jumbo-Visma team took control of the peloton, setting the pace and positioning their sprinters for battle. The riders suddenly woke up, facing a series of roundabouts and a narrow entrance to the finishing circuit.
The closing lap around the motor circuit in Nogaro proved to be dangerous, with crashes happening. Fabio Jakobsen, the European champion, got the worst of it, falling two kilometers before the finish. Unfortunately, he lost his chance at the stage victory.
Despite the chaos caused by crashes, the Alpecin-Deceuninck team showed their tactical skill. Mathieu van der Poel perfectly led out his teammate Jasper Philipsen, bringing him to the front just before the finish line. The sprinters battled it out in the final meters. Caleb Ewan fought hard but settled for second place behind Philipsen.
Stage 4 of the 2023 Tour de France started as an uneventful day, with the riders going through the motions. However, it became exciting, with a thrilling finish and unexpected crash that tested the riders. The Tour de France is known for its unpredictability and excitement; this stage was a reminder of that. As the race continues, this stage will be remembered leaving us eager for the next stage.